ComVal village chided for “hanging around” near poll center

Task Group Monkayo, a composite of 389 elements from the municipal police and the regional mobile group and with augmentation troops from the Army provided security to polling centers across the municipality.

The town was placed under the Commission on Election’s (Comelec) control in an en banc decision by the poll body after election-related shootings killed or wounded seven people since the start of the campaign period early last month.

Problems reported to the town election office were perennial, or they had cropped up in previous polls, like names of voters that could not be located from the list posted outside precinct walls.

But election officer Matilde Apresa said the problem can be remedied with voters reporting immediately to the municipal election office for them to be guided properly to their polling precincts.

Apresa explained a voter’s name can never get lost if it’s in their master list. She hoped voters would be more patient to move around a polling center to locate for themselves their respective names.

Authorities said the only incident reported Monday was a complaint received by Apresa’s office about a barangay (village) chief and some of his supporters who were said to be “seen in the vicinity very close to the polling precinct.”

Police Senior Superintendent Samson Arendain, Task Group Monkayo commander, identified the official as Joselito Crizaldo of barangay Pasian

Colonel Arendain told MindaNews he had asked Crizaldo and his companions “to keep a distance from the voting center.”

“Nagbotar lang sila matud pa sa kapitan (The barangay captain said they were there just to vote)”, Arendain said.

Apresa on the other hand said Crizaldo clarified they did not loiter and had no other purpose but to vote.

About 44,500 were expected to turn in various polling centers in the town’s 21 villages. (Frinston Lim/MindaNews)